A large stone manor sat on a hill next to our hotel. It looked centuries old and I couldn’t tell from where we were, if it was still occupied. Everyone working at the hotel shrugged their shoulders when asked if they knew anything about the place. It seemed as if the estate had been there so long, it just blended into the background and was ignored. While traveling by rail or car, throughout Italy you see a landscape dotted by buildings centuries old, some are abandoned in various states of disrepair. These orphaned stone structures intrigued me because they stood the test of time and all had stories to tell. Finally an opportunity presented itself, to quench my curiosity of exploring one of these ancient sites.

I walked over a mile on a winding road through rustic farm country. Following a dirt road uphill, past plowed fields I came face to face with what one time would have been a grand estate with a view. It was clearly abandoned in disrepair with sections of walls missing, with flocks of pigeons flying out of its exposed interiors. Cautiously walking into an entry, I chose careful steps between mounds of debris to ascend a crumbling stairway. At the top of the flight of stairs a series of makeshift catwalks followed second story walls. Carefully balancing myself with one hand holding my camera and the other holding parts of the building, I took a series of photos throughout the building.

Once back on terra firma I found a basement wall with iron bars on it. The room appeared designed to either keep people out or possibly in. Whether it could have been a storehouse for valuables or a jail for criminals, its dark entrance into the basement look to foreboding for me to explore without a flashlight. On the other side of the estate was a large kitchen with a wood oven and portions of table still holding utensils. Taking several more photographs from various angles, I retreated back to the road and leisurely walked to the hotel for a rest from my adventure.

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